Sunday, April 1, 2012

Bloody boobies! - Day 12

Yesterday was a reprieve from the twisting and turning of the previous two days as we steered 200 degrees magnetic with following seas. The seventh hill or so rolling in to the beam still managed to surprise us. The kerosene lamp above the galley stove swung at just the right angle to strike a stainless steel glass I was holding and the globe shattered and flew in all directions.

Around noon, twenty to thirty dolphins appeared, some swimming in synch like well coordinated Olympic champions while others frolicked about and chased flying fish. They varied in size from 3 to 5 feet and most had charcoal grey bodies while a few were lighter and dappled. The babies sported distinct white tipped noses like skiers wearing liberal helpings of sunscreen. We were surprised that they stayed with us for half an hour, probably encouraging Ladybug to swim faster and eventually giving up, to speed ahead.

We took advantage of the gentler day to cook a good meal ( mixed vegetable curry and rice ), pump the bilge and generally clean up. It is strange how one's appetite changes when one's insides are being churned all day long. I have not felt my usual all day long lust for chai tea or suffered withdrawal from spicy foods. In fact I actually asked Chris to cook a bland stew the other night!

The balmy evening air brought a little rain shower and I jumped naked into the cockpit for a wash. But it was not the fat rain that I was hoping for and I merely ended up swabbing the deck instead.

During the day we had several sightings of tropic birds, snowy white and plump, with long tail feathers. We also sighted red footed boobies, diving for flying fish. You may recall that these birds had been a nuisance earlier and Chris had to whack one with a fistful of sail ties to chase it off our solar panel.

Boobies really are the dumbest birds, and despite the mast arcing through 30 degrees, one tried to land again on our wind indicator. After the last bird encounter on Isla Cerralvo, when an Osprey destroyed this very useful instrument, Chris had epoxied a spike made from a straightened 3 inch fish hook to the center of the vane. We figured that this would send out a big "DO NOT LAND HERE" message to future aviators. Boobies, however, must be blind as well as stupid because this one managed to impale itself on the spike. It was unable to extract itself due to the barb and nearly destroyed the indicator and antenna at the mast head in its efforts to do so. Eventually things quieted down and the poor bird is now swinging around up there, its beak pointing quite accurately into the wind.

Now for our position report for April 1, 1430 Zulu. We were at 08 35 N and 125 12 W, with 140 miles run in the previous 24 hours, 135 made good towards our goal.

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